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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: May 27, 2011 5:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Born This Way?

Which came first, the Head or the Music?

Is the human brain pre-wired to react to this music, or is it a condition that is in fact a result OF the music? If the band had never been, would we have been this fanatical about some other group?

For me, it's a combo of both, kind of a Perfect Storm of DNA and music. I certainly believe that all of us have a part of the brain that is perhaps stimulated a little differently by certain auditory stimulus (no, Dire, that doesn't meen an udder in your ear) than others. But in terms of igniting this fire we all seem to carry, I think it is solely because of THIS music. There has always beem music lovers as long as there has been music, but our little community has shown a devotion and willingness to devote so much of ourselves to what this band has created, I can think of no other band that has inspired this kind of craziness. Sure, other bands have fanantical followers, but if nothing else the ability of this band to keep so many followers so involved for so long even after they have left to me is unparalleled. Bands like Phish and other "jam" bands that enjoy above average fan commitment may prove me wrong down the road, but I don't think they have the special "something" that has created what we come back time and time again to talk about here.

This is my opinion anyway.

This thought came to me as I nearly drove off the road during the Let It Grow from Oakland '82:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1982-12-27.mtx.sb18a.34705.sbeok.flac16

Hey, if you get nothing else from this post, that show is a perfect Friday warm-up. First set is absolutely on fire, and the second is a work of art. The scarlet>fire transition jam is monumental.

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Poster: user unknown Date: May 27, 2011 10:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

SDH, ya scared me brother.

I thought this was gonna be a thread about Lady Gaga. Wonder if you'd become one of her "little monsters".

chicken...egg
music...head

2 philosophical for me right now

I'm just glad that, whichever came first, the music feeds the head that makes the music that feeds the head et cetera, et cetera.

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: May 27, 2011 10:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

Grateful Dead indoctrination session in Dire's basement:

Dire: "It puts the music in it's brain, or it gets the hose again" (pronounced "ah-gane")
Dire: "Now it places the tape in the basket"
Newbie: "I wanna see my mommy, please, I wanna see..."
Dire: "Put the fucking tape in the basket"

Gotta love that movie. So many good lines from that one. OK, I may have tweaked them a bit, but too bad.

This post was modified by SomeDarkHollow on 2011-05-27 17:50:11

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: May 27, 2011 11:20am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

Ha! Great thread.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 27, 2011 11:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

Well, the Beatles were the first band that came to my mind, there are any number of super-fanatical books & websites & forums devoted to them, picking apart every little detail in their career. And I don't think it's just for "social" reasons, because they're so well-known, that they attract these kinds of followers.
But leaving them aside, I can't believe nobody's mentioned Dylan yet. What his fans may lack in numbers, they make up for in fanatic devotedness, and I think you'll actually find just as much intense discussion on Dylan forums as on Dead forums these days. Probably more.

And, to answer the question, I think the music has to come first. To some extent maybe people are like young teens, clustering around chirping like chicks waiting for some exciting fad to come around that they can get all infatuated with.... With adults, though, I think the music does have to be seriously interesting for us to act like this for years on end...

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: May 27, 2011 11:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

"With adults, though, I think the music does have to be seriously interesting for us to act like this for years on end..."

Why in hell can't my wife look at it that way?

Another thought that works in the Dead's favor in terms of keeping the fanatacism alive as well as starting new in some folks is the silly amount of music available so easily (and so cheaply). By allowing taping of all their shows the Boys certainly succeeded in cementing their permanence.


This post was modified by SomeDarkHollow on 2011-05-27 18:59:28

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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 27, 2011 12:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

That's true too, that the endless number of live shows available provides us with endless permutations & different versions of the music. If it were just the albums available, folks like bkidwell & myself would have nothing to study! And, really, there'd be very little to talk about.

Of course, Dylan's in the same boat. His followers are also known for going to show after show, because the next one might be 'different' or have that rare gem in there... And of course, fans have been taping his shows since 1961! And bootlegging them ever since the dawn of bootlegs...
So he's a very comparable case, where the best stuff is often unreleased, and people have all these shows available and can dive into rabid discussions over whether a song was done best in '66 or '76 or '96, etc....

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Poster: wisconsindead Date: May 27, 2011 4:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

Great post dark hollow. I've wondered how much of our experience listening to the dead is due to a certain type of hardwiring in the brain. Though I think it should be noted that furthur emphasis of any muscles or nerves develop stronger connections. I believe over time we seem to become better at listening to the dead and hearing it for how it is most effectively percieved. I'd like a geneticist or a neuroscientist to take brain scans or DNA tests to search for a commonality in dead heads.

ANy dead-head neuroscientists out there?

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Poster: splue Date: May 27, 2011 6:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way? yeppers

:/ im not 2 good with neroscience, but im burnin my way thru that medical coloring book sumone uploaded 2 texts recently

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: May 27, 2011 4:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

I agree with your assessment of Dylan - over time, his importance cannot be overstated. He was an important influence over the entire period. That said, I would also argue that his contribution was a little more social and literary than musical - although the music is solid and entertaining, there's nothing spectacular or unusual about it. His music is in direct lineage from gospel choirs, field hollers, blues players, and folksingers. (Guthrie) To these ears, Dylan was the first white rapper ! (Not meant to be derogatory - I just think of rap and hip/hop as "street poetry", not music.)

I think SDH and bkidwell really hit the nail on the head. It's the music - you either get it or you don't, and we all get different little pieces of that amazing spectrum.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 27, 2011 7:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

Hmm....although I think Dylan's the single most important person in rock music in the last 50 years, I don't see him as really having "social or literary" importance as you put it, as his primary influence was on other musicians. Kind of a combination of songs/lyrics/singing style that reset what was possible for other people to do. The music itself, as you say, didn't really break new ground - that was just the setting for the really important stuff - though the musical styles he chose were often very effective. Though now I think about it, that seems a limiting way to put it - but the magic of a Dylan song isn't in the fancy chords! One reason, I guess, they have been so often covered & reinterpreted in different styles...

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Poster: William Tell Date: May 27, 2011 10:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way...it's simple

I think the long term appeal of the DEAD has multiple components. First, they lasted, and they changed. Second, they came to represent the all important 60s, for better and for worse. Third, they rejected the establishment/biz model of the day, tried to go their own way, and failed, largely.

This pretty much sums ALL of us up in a nutshell; we want to do things our own way, we want to change the world, but when it comes down to it, we don't really want to be responsible for doing anything about it, in fact. Once we do latch on to a cause, and become a spokesperson for it, we might as well cash it in and start doing "donor raps" at the retirement home.

So, I think the DEAD appeal to so many of us for so many reasons that it's simple...pick a period, pick a tune, pick a statement (in or out of context) and you've got something in there for everyone...even premature death, due to a variety of excesses...

Can anyone really argue that much about Elvis or James Dean? There's not the timeline nor the inconsistency...

Anyhow, I think that's part of it...

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: May 29, 2011 6:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way...it's simple

"...we might as well cash it in and start doing "donor raps" at the retirement home..."

Ah, thank you once again for shining the light of all-consuming optimism on our dark, huddled masses. You have all the hallmarks of a life-long Red Sox fan.

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Poster: Old_NJ_Head_Zimmer Date: May 30, 2011 6:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way...it's simple

"This pretty much sums ALL of us up in a nutshell; we want to do things our own way, we want to change the world, but when it comes down to it, we don't really want to be responsible for doing anything about it, in fact."

Hit a big nail on the head!

The problem is most don't realize that last piece about themselves - or they rationalize away why they cant do anything about it...........

Big talk and no action - See new post on War Protest for example

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Poster: bkidwell Date: May 27, 2011 9:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

Well, this is kind of a personal pet theory based on my own personal path into the band's music, but I feel that the Grateful Dead rediscovered/reinvented the depth and richness of European art music (aka "classical") which is mostly absent from the popular musical forms of the 20th century. I think from the perspective of the future, they will perceive the story of 20th century music as focusing on Stravinsky, Duke Ellington, and the Grateful Dead, more or less. Certainly there is a place for many others (Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, Maurice Ravel, Alban Berg, Hendrix, The Beatles, King Crimson) but the Grateful Dead I think may be pre-eminent in certain ways.

There is a way to hear the entire set of recorded live Grateful Dead performances as a single, immense "30 year symphony". I think Jerry and Phil (and perhaps the rest of the band) thought of it in that way explicitly. Music's fundamental nature is structured time. The Grateful Dead's music works on a timescale more or less undreamt of by even the most ambitious prior composers.

One of the structural principles of the music of the "great composers" is development and recapitulation and cyclical forms. A theme is stated; the theme is subjected to transformations and variations; a contrasting interlude occurs; the theme reappears in its original form, perhaps intensified and with a sense that a journey has been completed or a conflict resolved.

The constant tours and disappearance and reappearance of material created multi-year formal structures spanning hundreds of performances. The return of "Dark Star" at the Formerly the Warlocks shows can't be fully understood as an independent musical statement, it is part of a multidecade musical symmetry. Seen from this perspective, even weaknesses may have an artistic purpose. The very early short, fast Dark Stars and the very late short, weakly jammed Dark Stars can be heard as the initial seed of a musical idea that followed a lifecycle of growth ending with a poignant dissolve and fade.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 27, 2011 12:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

"I think from the perspective of the future, they will perceive the story of 20th century music as focusing on Stravinsky, Duke Ellington, and the Grateful Dead..."

Ha! Funnily enough, Bob Weir made the same comparison:

"Q: I have always wondered if you think the Dead get remembered as a drug band instead of a musical entity...

Bob: I have no doubt that history will remember us for what we have done and not what the press in the '60s and '70s said about us because they didn’t realize what we were up to. I think that future scholars will understand... We may not be mentioned in the same sentence as Duke Ellington but maybe we will be mentioned in the same paragraph."

(I'm amused by how you snuck King Crimson into a list of the preeminent 20th-c. composers, but I'll let that slide... They are, though, another good example of the use of jazz & classical influences & improvisation in rock.)

The catch is, the Dead are rather unique among this bunch because this reputation will depend almost entirely on tapes of live shows (many unreleased, though of course in the future that'll be ever less relevant). Even the jazz composers released studio albums that showed what they were up to - something the Dead couldn't quite manage!
So the large "structure" you can see over 30 years of performance can only be perceived by those who devote themselves to listening over time...it kind of limits the available audience. I think more likely, a few individual shows may be singled out as the "best" exemplars of the Dead's technique, and discussion of the whole range of live shows may always be limited to a few devotees.

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: May 27, 2011 9:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

Wow. Someone's thinking way too much for a Friday.


Seriously, though, that is an excellent post.


By the way, thanks to everyone so far for some excellent input, pro and con.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: May 27, 2011 10:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

Right on bkidwell!
My mind is blown so I can't even quibble with the Great Artists of the 20th C. picks.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: May 28, 2011 5:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

What a wonderful way to look at it. That's really a new perspective; I like it.

A little surreal here, but I had 10/12/68 on and was perusing this post and ... honest to gosh ... just at the finale of that astounding Death Don't, my eyes fell on "ending with a poignant dissolve and fade."

Oooo kay.

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Poster: ChefChappy Date: May 27, 2011 6:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

I know its different, but there are other musicians with followings that rival. Elvis comes to mind. Even today, so many years after his death his fans can be considered fanatical. How about Sinatra? He sold out concerts into his 80's or the Beatles. Anytime a new repackaging of their music hits the scene it seems to be a best seller.

Just my 2 cents. Hope everyone has a nice holiday

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Poster: MindBendah Date: May 27, 2011 7:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

I think that the devotion to artists like Elvis, Sinatra, or The Beatles, etc. centers around aspects of their image more than just there music (not to discount their musical qualities). The Beatles had to stop touring because girls would scream the whole time and drown out the music. While they did produce some fine music solely in the studio, their fame was built by being huge commercial successes early in their career. Elvis became famous because he was a white guy that could sing like a black guy. Plenty of people in todays society know about Elvis, Sinatra, and The Beatles, but are completely unfamiliar with there music. Image is king in society, just think about celebrity worship, no talent hacks made famous for having a pretty face.

While I would contest that the Dead following was built on aspects beyond just their music, I would not say it was due to being a huge commercial success. My personal devotion to the Dead was found through the music, being too young to see the band live (Only 7 yrs when Jerry passed away). I knew "of" the Dead before I started listening to the music, but I did not have that preconceived societal notion of the Dead. The Beatles on the other hand, those preconceived societal notions of the band were ingrained in me from my childhood before I even started listening to their music.

I live for Dead music now. Never had Ive heard music that moves in the way that Dead music does. I cant come to a conclusion on if its me or the music, it just is...

Forever Grateful. Forever Dead.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: May 27, 2011 9:20am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

well I think a LARGE part of their continued sucess is also their HUGE influence. In the case of Elvis - hell yeah that's why he was famous because he brought black music to the masses. As controversial as Elvis was ( I know ridiculous by todays standards )ordinary white suburbans kids parents wouldn't have let them listen to the same music if played by black artists. Sad but true.

The Beatles - yeah they had charisma and a unique look and packaging, but they also had a lot of unique things going for them. Buddy Holly did it first but the Beatles were a group.

Sinatra - he's believable imo. Put him up with another crooner singing the same song and see who drives that one home. Plus even Miles Davis says he was influenced by his phrasing so what higher honor can you get than that?

So I dont know if this translates to the general public or is just marketing but every single one of these three artists changed music forever. They influenced a ton of artists that came behind them. Hell the Beatles made crazy Brian go off the deep end pretty much permanently.

I'd be inclined to put Hendrix in there too.

As for the Dead, as incredibly special as they are and as Bill Graham said about not understanding why more people don't take advantage of this medicine, they pretty much operated in a bubble to a large extent until their huge commercial success in the late 80's

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Poster: splue Date: May 27, 2011 10:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

u hafta interface with the dead---alot of the other groups its jus inurface?????

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: May 27, 2011 8:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

Very well said.

How many artists continue to produce new rabid fans 15+ years after they stopped performing? (yeah, I dont count any of the current Post-Jerry incarnations) Artists like Frand and Elvis ceratinly may be in this category, but are those converts "hard cores"? Maybe they are and I need to give them their props. But, as he said in the above post, are the new converts attracted to the music or the image?

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Poster: Old_NJ_Head_Zimmer Date: May 27, 2011 9:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

Springsteen - say what you want about the boss and his music - but his fan base is just as fanatical about his live music - and there are many hard core fans willing to travel the world to see him perform - obviously not the Dead scene - but as close to fanatical a fan base as I can comapre to dead heads

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Poster: bluedevil Date: May 27, 2011 9:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

Anyone been to a Pearl Jam show in the last 10 years? Very comparable to what the Dead had going sans the full on shakedown street experience outside (not always a plus in my book).

And I was sorry to find this was not a Lady Gaga thread...

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: May 27, 2011 9:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

Pearl Jam and Sprinsteen are excellent examples.

But let's come back in, say 20 years and see what's going on with that fan base. I'm sure they'll still have devotees, but how many of them will have started "After the music stops"? Time will tell.

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Poster: ChefChappy Date: May 27, 2011 9:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

How about Jommy Buffet. His fans are pretty devout. And with buffet, its not just about the music, there is also a "scene" that goes along with it

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Poster: leftwinger57 Date: May 27, 2011 10:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

I guess I'm going to throw out THE WHO ,they've had this resugence including the Super Bowl and soundtracks to commercials and multiple t.v.shows They still tour albeit w/o the same vigor of years ago. Personally it's time to hang up the Strat, adding to this out of 4 original players only 2 are left.
That in it's self bothers me.

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Poster: splue Date: May 27, 2011 10:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

jimmy buffett rocks but his shows r coasting

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Poster: splue Date: May 27, 2011 12:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: hatched this way

lol >i meant costing--he is counting his $$$ all th way 2 margarityville

does nice finally thingy tho, vry nice solo, all alone 2

& an awesome backup singer who should spin-off because he probly pays her less than that old guy with all the bubbles on PBS paid people

the fins trance repition thingy is a bit brainwashy tho
&sry but i am not rly a big grasskirt aficinada, hides the legs

he could start a kewl restaraunt & call it Jimmys Buffet and T Room??? id go there!!!

watching whale wars whalathon 2day so i thot id tweet that 2--reminds me of a joke i cant rly tell on this forum because of all the religious implications
jeez i can hardly wait til L---TV uploads this whole season

hav a grt weekend gd people!!! :)

This post was modified by splue on 2011-05-27 19:25:37

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: May 27, 2011 9:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

Again, my point always drifts back to how the influence of the artists after they stopped performing inspires new fans, and not just your ordinary fan, but seething, all-or-nothing, yeah I want 58 versions of the same song kind of fan.

I guess it is all up to how you define "fan", and whether or not it is even possible to compare a Dead fan with anyone else. And what defines a true fan anyway? That is another discussion I suppose.

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Poster: splue Date: May 27, 2011 10:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: paste define? :)

http://ia700604.us.archive.org/24/items/IntegrityBackpatch/photo-12.JPG

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: May 27, 2011 10:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

Welcome.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd_nrps70-06-24.aud.pcrp5.23062.sbeok.flacf






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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: May 27, 2011 7:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

I agree to a point. I guess if I took some time I could troll the net for different fan sites and gauge the discussions being held there.

Yes, the artists you mention certainly have a huge following to this day and most like far beyond, but I guess the devotion to me is really just different, not bigger or better. My mother, for example, is a big, big Sinatra fan, but I don't catch her in chat rooms getting into arguments about which Sinatra was better; the young skinny Frank, or the old fat Chairman of the Board.

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Poster: ChefChappy Date: May 27, 2011 9:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Born This Way?

That can be a generational thing too!